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Instrument cluster swap for S60 - Canada to US cluster

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justinc
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Year and Model: 2006 S60
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Instrument cluster swap for S60 - Canada to US cluster

Post by justinc »

Wondering if anyone might be able to help me out with this question. I've seemed to get a variety of answers on the subject but nothing concrete.

I'm looking to import a 2005 Volvo S60 T5 from Canada to the United States. Part of the process will necessitate an entire instrument cluster swap as the Canadian cluster does not have MPH markings which are legally required.

Here's what I've heard:
* Official Volvo Dealer: The only route that will work is new cluster and a new DIM. The service adviser said that used clusters with cloned DIMs will not work. The car will also need to have some software programming done. However, dealer cannot confirm that this will work as Canadian parts number for instrument cluster is obviously different than the U.S. cluster. Price - $1250 USD for the cluster, plus $65 or so for the reprogramming. Not sure if the CEM is reprogrammed in this; it could be what's being programmed for the $65 fee, but I think that the $65 fee is to program the instrument cluster itself.

* Several independent shops: Won't touch it. Directed me to go to a Volvo dealership to get the job done.

* XeModEx: Can take a used cluster and clone the DIM to work on the car, but while the instrumentation will be in miles, the actual CEM stores info in Metric. As such, the odometer showing on the cluster will track in KM but will indicate miles. (eg. car has 200,000 km/125,000 mi, but once the swap is done, will show 200,000 miles, which is not the case!) XeModEx says that they cannot reprogram the CEM - due to security issue, only Volvo dealers can do this. They said that this is costly - though did not quote me on a ballpark range on price.

What's particularly bothersome is that neither XeModEx nor the Volvo dealer could confirm what part number would work for that particular car. The dealer said that there were four potential instrument clusters that could work, but couldn't say which would. This seems really odd. I'm guessing it may have something to do with different trim rings or what not.

So, forum readers, I turn to you for advice. Will any S60/V70 instrument cluster that's newer than 2005 and NOT and R cluster work? Or, does the cluster that is being purchased have to be an exact match between model year and powertrain? Or, is the dealer correct and that the whole cluster needs to be programmed from new?

Lastly, has anyone imported a Canadian car to America with success? If so, can you confirm what you did?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Instrument cluster swap for S60 - Canada to US cluster

Post by abscate »

I think Neil did this most recently for a 1998. You have to satisfy three different sets of Federal regs and then the State of final use , too. Fun fun fun
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Re: Instrument cluster swap for S60 - Canada to US cluster

Post by jbeebo »

I imported a car from Canada to the USA, to California in fact which has even more strict emissions regs. It was 20yrs ago, but here's what I recall.

You need to contact the Volvo US based headquarters. They will need to check the VIN and send you a written letter on Volvo letterhead which states your particular car does meet all applicable US federal safety and emissions laws at the time of manufacture. If this is not the case, and your car is non-compliant for some reason, you need to find out from Volvo specifically what parts need to be changed. This process will take some time, they don't get a lot of these requests and are "doing you a favour" by responding at all.

Modification could include many things such as bumpers, headlights, engine calibrations, vapour recovery systems, etc. The miles/km issue is potentially just the tip of the iceberg. Thankfully my car was old enough, that at the time of manufacture (1972) the US and Canadian requirements were largely aligned; no modifications were required to my car. Unfortunately for you that's no longer true, as the standards have deviated over time.

If you managed to modify the car you'd still need some way to prove the car is compliant, but you need to prove it to the US folks and being in Canada this is not easily done. At the border they'll want written documentation your car is US legal.

IMHO, if Volvo gives you any grief, you might be better off selling it and buying a car in the US. Sadly, this opens up a whole 'nother can o' worms, because unless you have enough cash to buy a car outright, you'll need financing. And the reality is no credit history in the US is in fact worse than a bad credit history. My advice here would be find an auto dealer that would be willing to "take a risk" on a no credit history buyer. Be prepared for a higher interest rate. BUT, make sure that same financier will faithfully report your payments to the credit bureaus so you'll be establishing a credit record.

I could go on about the repatriation process overall, seems I've rambled quite enough for one post ;-)
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justinc
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Re: Instrument cluster swap for S60 - Canada to US cluster

Post by justinc »

Thanks for the responses so far.

I've contacted Volvo US and they said that the vehicle is emissions compliant, and is built to the same safety standard as the U.S. cars. The only two things that need to be changed are the emergency trunk release handle (Canadian cars did not have this feature), and the instrument cluster. I've tracked down how to get the handle installed, but haven't had any luck with cluster info so far.

Thankfully, I do have a car I can drive in the interim. Car No. 1 was easy enough to import (2006 Chevrolet Impala) - required nothing, cost nothing too as it's a NAFTA car.

Car No. 2 is a different can of worms. I can't import it due to it having a Takata airbag without any parts available (fun fun fun!). It's also from a brand that doesn't exist anymore, so I have to go through a Registered Importer to get it imported once the parts are available.

And of course, Car. No. 3 is the aforementioned Volvo.
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Re: Instrument cluster swap for S60 - Canada to US cluster

Post by doublebug »

justinc wrote: Here's what I've heard:
* Official Volvo Dealer: The only route that will work is new cluster and a new DIM. The service adviser said that used clusters with cloned DIMs will not work. The car will also need to have some software programming done. However, dealer cannot confirm that this will work as Canadian parts number for instrument cluster is obviously different than the U.S. cluster. Price - $1250 USD for the cluster, plus $65 or so for the reprogramming. Not sure if the CEM is reprogrammed in this; it could be what's being programmed for the $65 fee, but I think that the $65 fee is to program the instrument cluster itself.
Dealers as usual :)
justinc wrote: * XeModEx: Can take a used cluster and clone the DIM to work on the car, but while the instrumentation will be in miles, the actual CEM stores info in Metric. As such, the odometer showing on the cluster will track in KM but will indicate miles. (eg. car has 200,000 km/125,000 mi, but once the swap is done, will show 200,000 miles, which is not the case!) XeModEx says that they cannot reprogram the CEM - due to security issue, only Volvo dealers can do this. They said that this is costly - though did not quote me on a ballpark range on price.
That is right.

justinc wrote: So, forum readers, I turn to you for advice. Will any S60/V70 instrument cluster that's newer than 2005 and NOT and R cluster work? Or, does the cluster that is being purchased have to be an exact match between model year and powertrain? Or, is the dealer correct and that the whole cluster needs to be programmed from new?
Any DIM after 2005 MY from P2 platform will work without programming. I said any will work but not any will fit the place. f.e. XC90 has slightly different mountings. And as XeModEx said cluster will show kilometers instead of miles on the odometer. So CEM needs reprogramming.
You can ask yagger MVS member to get this sorted.
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Re: Instrument cluster swap for S60 - Canada to US cluster

Post by oragex »

Try the simplest route: swap only the display cardboard with a US one. Check out Youtube how to remove the glass, then the needles, then the cardboard itself. From what I've seen, the speeds in mile and km are quite a the same place when the needle points at any speed, but double check to be sure. Don't put the car battery in the ignition any moment the DIM is disconnected.
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